Ligpo Island, Batangas

“Don’t fear failure so much that you refuse to try new things. The saddest summary of a life contains three descriptions: could have, might have, and should have.”

I have always wanted to do scuba diving. Aside from being able to breath underwater and conquering my fear in the deep, it has  been my childhood dream to discover the beauty of the subaquatic world.

There are a lot  of diving spots in Batangas and one of the most visited is Ligpo Island. It is geographically located between San Luis and Bauan.

How to get to Ligpo Island

If you have a private car, from Manila you will need to drive going to Lipa, Batangas through South Luzon Express Way (SLEX). From Lipa toll exit, head towards right going to Alitagtag, Batangas. There are street signs along the way to Alitagtag or Lemery. When you reach the end of point of Alitagtag, you need to turn right before Sta. Teresita entry then from you are in San Luis. Waze can also be a help.

I took a bus ride from Alabang South Station going to Tambo, Lipa Batangas. The bus fare is php 94.  Once you pass by Lipa exit, inform the bus driver to drop you off to Tambo. From Lipa City, I rode a jeep going to Taal for 45php. From Taal, you can ride a tricycle going to Seasport Park and Dive Resort in San Luis.

I decided to go to Taal, Batangas first to visit the biggest church in Asia. Though it is not my first time, but I was still amazed of its structure and history. What I love about the place is that they have preserved the old houses and you will really feel that rural life in wherein everyone is taking thier time.

The Taal Basilica canonically known as the Minor Basilica of Saint Martin of Tours.  It is considered to be the largest church in the Philippines and in Asia, standing 88.6 metres (291 ft) long and 48 metres (157 ft) wide. St. Martin of Tours is the patron saint of Taal, whose fiesta is celebrated every November 11.

I visited the church and thank God for all the blessings he gave me this year including all of the safe travels and for my migration team. We ate in a tapasihan near the municpal hall where they served tapang taal. It is made up beef or pork strips marinated within 8 hours with a special sause then fried before serving. Then we went to the resort to rest.

Scubba Buddies and Alao Dive Academy

The Alao Dive Academy is being managed by Mr. Allan S. Lao. He is a CMAS/PADI (World Underwater Federation) Master Scuba Diver trainer and a ERF (Emergency First Response) Instructor.

Below are the dive instructors from Alao Dive Academy and Scubba Buddies

  • Allan Lao (Master Scuba Diver)
  • Ricky Lao
  • Vincent Cornel
  • Ricky Lao
  • Kevin Asturias
  • Onie Potipot
  • Dandy Quirao

They also offer diving license to those who wanted to have certification in scuba diving.

Contact Information:

  • Allan S. Lao
  • Operations Manager
  • Seasports Park and Dive Resort
  • 09192449994/ 09158994997
  • mrallanlao@yahoo.com
  • alaodiveacademy@gmail.com

Scuba Buddies is owned and managed by Sir Vincent Colonel.

  • CMAS 3 star divemaster
  • Alao Dive Academy Divemaster
  • Philippine Association of Underwater Activities
  • President (UP Divers Association)
  • Instructor (PNP Special Action Force)
  • Safety Diver (Sec. Alcala of Dept of Agriculture at Dive and Trek Resort and Marine Sanctuary)

Contact Information

My Scuba Buddies John, Drew, Yhe, Nadz and Tin in our boat dive going to Ligpo Island.

Intro to Scuba Diving is a program which students can experience the beauty of scuba diving even without holding a certification card. This is for swimmers and non-swimmers.

While waiting for your turn, you can do snorkling or even have a free dive like what I did. For first timers, it is better to prepare yourself  and test the waters as well.

Note: Scubba Buddies offers the cheapest shore and boat dive in the country. In fact, their dive package includes  van transfer (round trip), scuba gears, tank, resort entrance, divemaster fee, camera rental, lunch and certificate. Visit their facebook page to get more information.

During the dive, you have a one on one session with the scuba dive master. The goal is safety first and have a wonderful experience underwater. They have enough dive master to guide you during the dive.

Thank you Sir Vincent Cornel of the Scuba Buddies for another wonderful experience.

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Sitio Kalamansian, Occidental Mindoro

“We make a living by what we get but we make a life by what we give.”

This quote inspires me to do my charity events yearly. It also reminds me to be contented of what I have and be happy of the blessings I received.

This was just a solo charity work as initially planned but when I discussed with team, they have decided to take part of the event. I was blessed enough to have a team composed of kindhearted individuals. I knew from the start that its going to be challenging but with the their support, I am confident enough that it will be successful.

The Location

Sitio Kalamasian, Brgy. San Agustin is one of the barangays in the municipality of Sablayan, Occidental Mindoro. The community is mainly composed of Mangyan residences. They are the native tribe of Mindoro.


The LGU assigned Sitio Kalamasian, Brgy. San Agustin where the community is composed of 175 students from Day Care to Grade 6.

During the ocular inspection, I was really amazed of what I saw. I did not expect that the location was really amazing. It was a small community located approximately 15km from the town proper and from the provincial road, you need to take 1.5km more going to the school location.

This was taken during the ocular inspection last July 16, 2016. After the meet and greet with the students, I started planning about the event. One of the things that I noticed,  the children did not have  slippers. I already thought that it was their immediate need.

Even if I was really tired of traveling for more than 8 hours but when I saw their faces full of excitement, I became more inspired and determined to continue with the event.

Honestly, I got a bit scared because even if I have done charity works in the past but this is much more different. The donations, financial aspects, logistics and the location were definitely the things I need to consider. And, without any organization involved, I thought that it was going to be more challenging.

The Planning

Planning for a big charity event without any organization involved is really difficult. I had to think of different ways on how to make things possible especially on donations transport, place to stay, activities and transportation during the event.

Thank you to Tita Regina Genosas for the unconditional support. Without your help, everything will not be possible. Photo was taken before we set out the event planning.

The Donations

These are the donations that were given to the Mangyan students. Thank you to Team Ville for all the donations.

  • Slipper 6 1/2 – 5 dozens
  • Slipper 7 1/2 – 5 dozens
  • Slipper 8 1/2 – 5 dozens
  • Slipper 9 1/2 – 2 dozens
  • Silver Cup – 10 dozens
  • Toothbrush – 120 pieces
  • Notebook- 97 pieces
  • Crayon- 97 pieces
  • Pencil- 97 pieces
  • Sharpener – 97 pieces
  • Intermediate Pad- 100 pieces
  • Ball pen – 100 pieces
  • Notebooks Spiral – 200 pieces
  • Plastic Envelopes- 200 pieces
  • Cupcakes – 200 pieces
  • Tetra Juice- 200 pieces

The experiences from buying the donations up to the delivery process was exhausting. There were a lot of sleepless day offs because I wanted to make sure that everything is at place. But everything was all worth it.

The Transportation

This was one of the most challenging tasks when it comes to organizing a charity event. You need to make sure that the donations will be delivered to location without any delays and issues.

Dimples Bus company was only our way we can have the donations delivered in Sablayan. You just need to communicate with their branch managers in Alabang and Sablayan to ensure that it will be delivered as expected.

The Occidental Mindoro Electrical Company (OMECO) headed by General Manager Engr. Alfred A. Dantis and Ms. Joy Valdez made everything easier for us. They helped us from the start until the end of the event. Thank you for the support. We truly appreciate it.

The Main Event

After our shift, we immeditely rode a bus going to Abalang South Station then another bus ride to Batangas Port. We did not take the Buendia terminal because there are a lot of passengers during weekends.

From Batangas Port, we rode the RoRo (roll on/roll off) going to Abra de Ilog for 2 hours and from the port, another 2.5 hours ride doing to Sablayan. We missed out the 10am roro schedule so we need to wait for 4 hours more for the next trip. We departed from port around 2pm.

We arrived in Sablayan, Occidental Mindoro by  7:30pm. Everyone was exhausted and hungry. We had our dinner at Camalig Resto near OMECO office. Their food was really delicious especially their Beef Kare-Kare and  Lechon Kawali with Bicol Express Sause. Whats more amazing, we only spent 1,900 for 12 hungry people. Even if it was their closing time, they still accommodated us. Thank you Camalig.

We stayed at the DJ Resort located at Sablayan for 1,500 per night 3 rooms. The place though needs more improvement but their main attraction is the Maldives- like stilts.

We started late because it rained in the morning ,so we arrived at the locations by noon.  We had our last team huddle on what were their tasks during the event.

We started gathering all the students and introduced ourselves to them and the purpose of our visit. After a short introduction, we started distributing food and drinks to the children while the rest are preparing the donations to be given inside the classroom.

I also had my  moments with the kids.

After we distributed the food and drinks to the children, we started giving out the school supplies in each grade level. They were given school supplies such as notebooks, pad papers, ballpens, pencils and crayons.

We also had group pictures in each grade level.

The kids were happy because of the gifts they recieved. The students were also given a pair of slippers. The event was a success and we left the village with these children full of happiness in their hearts.

Thank you  for giving me an opportunity  a meaningful advance birthday gift. This event will always remind me to be thankful and be contented of what I have everyday. The day ended with an awesome dinner at Camalig with laughters. Good job to everyone. Thank you for making this event possible. Words can’t express how thankful I am because another dream came true. May God bless us all.

Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.

Thank you 😋